2016 Summer Camp Staff

Staff

FARRAH KAMANI
CAMP DIRECTOR
(Canada)

My name is Farrah and I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I am completing my degree in Political Science with a specialisation in Social Policy and a minor in Criminal Justice and Astronomy. I am a huge movie buff and a loyal Toronto Raptors fan. I love to run, dance, hike, travel and read. I have worked in fashion since I was 16 and am a lover of the arts (I come from a family of artists) and philosophy. Youth development and camps are very near and dear to my heart as I have been involved with various summer programmes over the last eight years, serving in a multitude of positions. I have been privileged in my opportunities to serve communities and this opportunity is no different! I am a strong believer in the voice of civil society and truly believe in the values that encompass global plural citizenship. I am excited and intrigued to learn from all of you and our awesome students in the weeks ahead. I look forward to meeting everyone this summer and creating what I know will be a memorable and transformative summer!

SHAN PANJWANI
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
(Canada)

My name is Shan and I am from Toronto, Canada. I am currently completing an Economics degree at McMaster University and am hoping to pursue my next degree in Law. I am a huge sports fanatic, following all four major North American sports avidly (Go Leafs, Raptors, Blue Jays, and Colts). I grew up playing most sports with a particular love for ice hockey. There is no better feeling then hitting the ice and having the cold air fill your lungs! I am secretly a 60 year old, stuck in a 21-year old's body, due to my love for throwbacks. I love listening to Jazz and Rock music from the 70s and 80s, have a passion for late 19th century art (Manet is amazing), and have participated (poorly) in several dance competitions as part of a club at university. I have been organising camps for nearly six to seven years and love working with kids, getting to know them and their hip lingo. I am excited and intrigued to learn from all of you and our awesome students . I look forward to meeting everyone this summer, and creating what I know will be a memorable and transformative summer.

ERIK KRAUSS
MANAGER, STUDENT AFFAIRS
(USA)

My name is Erik and I manage student life at UCA. I have spent much of my career providing student services in an international context, including at the Emerson College European Centre, Netherlands and at New York University in Florence, Italy. Prior to joining UCA, I was responsible for selecting Central American applicants for the Walton International Scholarship programme at the University of the Ozarks and mentoring them during their studies. I have also served as Dean of Student Development, Brescia University and Director of International Education, Drew University. I hold degrees from the University of Portland, Eastern Washington University and Cornell University. I am looking forward to meeting this years campers and am committed to making sure everyone has an outstanding experience.

AIGERIM MIYATOVA
HEAD OF STUDENT RECRUITMENT
(Kazakhstan)

My name is Aigerim and I lead the University of Central Asia's undergraduate recruitment efforts in its three founding states. I began my career in American University of Central Asia's (AUCA) Admissions and Recruitment Office in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, where I gained valuable experience in the planning, management and execution of local and international recruitment initiatives. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in International and Comparative Politics from AUCA and a Master of Arts in Educational and Cultural Policy from the University of Tsukuba, Japan.

DIANA TSOI
LOGISTICS MANAGER
(Kyrgyz Republic)

My name is Diana. I have worked in various positions in development and education. I received my MA in International Relations from Kyung Hee University. I joined the Red Crescent Society of Kyrgyzstan as Capacity Building Programme Coordinator. Two years later, I moved to the United Kingdom to pursue my academic interests. I received my MBA from University of Gloucestershire and worked at the British Red Cross headquarters in London. I then returned to Bishkek, to join the Alumni Relations and Career Services at my alma mater AUCA. There, I was also faculty advisor for Rome Model United Nations. My latest role was projects development and grant seeking for the International Public Foundation Roza Otunbayeva Initiative. I currently also lead a volunteer initiative in orphanages.

Teachers

BUNYOD TUSMATOV
MATHEMATICS FACULTY
(Tajikistan)

My name is Bunyod and I am a faculty member with UCAs Undergraduate Preparatory Programme. I received a BA in Economics and Mathematics from Earlham College, USA. Prior to that, I was a student at United World Colleges in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. After graduating from Earlham, Tusmatov I worked as a financial analyst for RBC Wealth Management in Philadelphia. In 2015, I returned to Tajikistan, where I worked for RISK Tajikistan as a business analyst. I also have a great deal of experience as an SAT mathematics instructor. Prior to joining UCAs Preparatory Programme, I was a math teacher for UCAs inaugural Summer Camp last year. I am trained in teaching and curriculum methodology by Seneca College, Canada.

ROZA KAZAKBAEVA
ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE FACULTY
(Kyrgyz Republic)

My name is Roza and I am an English as a Second Language (ESL) faculty member with UCAs Undergraduate Preparatory Programme. I have more than 20 years of experience teaching English as a foreign language. I hold a PhD in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Composition from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining UCA, I taught at the Kazakh Ablai Khan University of International Relations and World Languages, where I developed and taught courses for the departments of linguistics and cross-cultural communications. I am trained in teaching and curriculum methodology by Seneca College, Canada.

Counsellors

JAMILYA AITAKUNOVA
CAMP COUNSELLOR
(Kyrgyz Republic)

Hello everyone! My name is Jamilya and I have recently graduated from the American University of Central Asia with a major in Economics. Born and raised in a small town of Karakol, Kyrgyz Republic, I use every opportunity to learn, develop and help my community. I joined Leadership ayouth volunteer organisation and continue with volunteering career till today. In 2011, I was fortunate to spend a year living with a host family in Ohio, USA through the FLEX programme. After returning, I joined two summer camps and was delighted to share with my experiences and make new friends. The next international chapter in my life was joining the Miracle Corners of the World's Youth Leadership Retreat and mentoring fellow global leaders. I am very happy to join the 2016 UCA's Summer Camp and look forward to making new friends.

DAVIS COOPER
CAMP COUNSELLOR
(Austria)

Hi everyone! My name is Davis and I live in Vienna, Austria. I graduated from a multimedia and design school in 2009, have worked as a web designer for over three years and am now working as an English teacher at a kindergarten in Vienna. I attended university to study biology and medicine, but after a year and a half I decided to earn a living and postpone my studies. In my spare time I enjoy playing basketball and frisbee, swimming and many other outdoor activities. When the weather is bad, I like to watch movies or television series at home, playing chess and computer games as well as reading science fiction stories and experimenting with Adobe Photoshop. I have two younger siblings and many cousins who live all over the world. This will not be my first trip to Central Asia. I visited my extended family in Tajikistan in 2006 and again last year in Kyrgyzstan. This will be my second UCA Summer Camp and I am very excited to be back.

SABAH ALI
CAMP COUNSELLOR
(USA)

My name is Sabah and I was born and raised in Houston, Texas in the United States. I graduated from the University of Texas in 2013 with a Bachelors in Management Information Systems and a minor in Marketing. After graduation, I went on to work as a business analyst for about a year before I decided to shift gears and pursue my real dream, teaching. I earned a teaching certification in mathematics for grades seven through twelve in 2015. Currently, I am an eigth grade maths teacher and I love my job! I am passionate about education, service, and working with youth to create a positive impact. I especially love camp programmes and have spent every free summer over the last six years volunteering in some capacity. In my free time, I like to read, watch movies, sing, and eat. I also love to travel and am looking forward to visiting Central Asia for the first time.

AMEEN MAKANI
CAMP COUNSELLOR
(New Zealand)

My name is Ameen. I was born in Singapore and have spent most of my life in Auckland, New Zealand. I am currently pursuing my Bachelors of Business majoring in Accounting, Finance and Marketing at Auckland University of Technology. New Zealand is an extremely sporty country and it has made me love it. I regularly play football/soccer, tennis, volleyball and of course our nations favourite - rugby. Although I am not good at it, I really like dancing. Travelling is what I enjoy the most. I love seeing unique places for the first time, learning about peoples traditions or cultures and trying new food is always the best part. My passion for photography has allowed me to capture these memories along the way. My greatest achievement in life is training as a paramedic in the Singapore Armed Forces where I was pushed to learn my boundaries as a person. During this time, I learnt that my life goal is to be an entrepreneur while working with societies to improve their economic, social and environmental standards. I am coming to Kyrgyzstan to learn! Whether its new knowledge, perspectives or learning to grow as a person, camps have always taught me something significant and most of the time it comes from my students or participants. I cannot wait to meet you all!

AIGUL KANTORO KYZY
CAMP COUNSELLOR
(Kyrgyz Republic)

Hello everyone! My name is Aigul. I am originally from Kyrgyzstan. I am entering my senior year at Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University in Bishkek majoring in Economics and Management with a minor in International Relations. For some time, whilst studying, I have been a part time English language tutor for school children. Working with children, ignited my passion working with youth and I strongly believe they have the ability to brighten the world and inspire others. It was a great experience for me to contribute the next generations. I have a few hobbies including running, reading, traveling, hiking and going on adventures! I also enjoy spending time with family and friends and the outdoors, whether swimming or sitting around a fire. I am adventurous and willing to give almost anything a try. This will be my first University of Central Asia Summer Camp and I am excited. I am very much looking forward to meeting everyone - see you at camp!

ALY PANJWANI
CAMP COUNSELLOR
(USA)

My name is Aly and I am an undergraduate student from Dallas, Texas in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. I am studying Culture and Politics with a certificate in International Development and am interested in human rights advocacy and conflict resolution. I believe that the arts and education are extraordinary forms of diplomacy and conversations to bring together communities and contrasting ideologies. I am involved with the Center for Social Justice at Georgetown and host a radio show called Resistance Radio on the WGTB Georgetown Radio, addressing social justice causes through music and spoken word. Before joining the UCA Summer Camp team, I interned at Ping Chong + Company in New York City, a theatre company that gives voice to marginalised communities. Furthermore, I am also part of a contemporary band, Conchord. Through this camp, I hope to create lasting bonds and empower students to make this world a more just and peaceful place for all.

ALEKSANDR KIM
CAMP COUNSELLOR
(Kyrgyz Republic)

My name is Alex and I am from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. I have mostly lived in Bishkek, but have met lots of international scholars who came to Kyrgyzstan to run youth programmes. I lived in Oregon, USA for a year as an exchange student and had a fantastic time. In Oregon, I had my first experience doing community service for local shelters. I love playing sports and made a lot of friends playing American football and baseball. I used to teach English and have experience coaching children and coordinating summer camps.

I like to read articles about science and technology and anything else I find interesting. The best thing about this is that I can find something exciting to talk about with a person I just met and it allows me to have a good time wherever I go. I study Software Engineering and love everything about science, technology and innovation. I work as an Android developer and in my free time I like to learn independently about topics I find appealing. I am really excited to spend an amazing time with all of you!

Assistant Camp Counsellors

GANJINA VANJOVA
ASSISTANT CAMP COUNSELLOR
(Tajikistan)

My name is Ganjina and I am from Khorog, Tajikistan. Since 2011, I have studied at the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, Kenya and I will be graduating next year. I want to become an engineer! I can help you with subjects like Maths and Physics. I will be applying to universities in Canada and in USA. I speak fluent English, Russian and Shugni and understand Tajik. I like basketball and singing, although I am not very good at either of them! I love chocolate, russian music and some english songs. I enjoy trying new things such as food, games and activities and generally love learning about other cultures, traditions and groups of people. I look forward to getting to know you better and I am willing to help you deal with any issues you may have at the camp. If you have a problem or you just want to talk to someone, please feel free to approach me.

ZARINA MAMADBEKOVA
ASSISTANT CAMP COUNSELLOR
(Tajikistan)

My name is Zarina and I am a diploma 2 student at the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa. Originally I come from Khorog, Tajikistan but was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. I am mainly interested in social and economic development and I love to debate current affairs and any topics in general. I am the Chair of the East African Model United Nations at the Aga Khan Academy, where I follow my passion and help other students gain resolution writing , public speaking and research skills. Currently, I am the CEO of my school's tuckshop, where I work with a group of five others to supply the school community with their daily breaks and offer business to small local companies. Lastly, I am very passionate about women's rights around the world and try to advocate for breaking down stereotypes and promoting equality with any chance I get. I am super excited to be at the camp! I look forward to working with students from different backgrounds, to enhance my knowledge with youand assist in anything I can.

ALISHER KUKANBEKOV
ASSISTANT CAMP COUNSELLOR
(Tajikistan)

My name is Alisher, but you can call me AK. I am 18 years old and study at the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, Kenya. I enjoy playing different types of sports especially basketball and football. I recently joined bodybuilding and I enjoy watching movies and television in my free time. I am also a fan of books, watching documentaries, ted talks and other educational videos.I am a social person and I enjoy meeting new people with different backgrounds. I find all cultures are unique because they all have something different and interesting in them. I am looking forward to getting to know each one of you and to make this camp a memorable moment for all of us.